When you think of masturbation what comes to mind? Is it frantic, furtive tugging or rubbing to try to get to an orgasm as quickly as possible? I don't blame you. In the media, masturbation is being sold short. In honor of Masturbation May, I want to talk about some ways in which masturbation is so much better - and so much more - than we're ever told it is. Here are the top five reasons I think it's the greatest thing since punctuation or cheese sandwiches - whatever floats your boat. Seriously, it's the greatest. (Oh, and check out all our great content on the subject here.)
5 Reasons Why Masturbation Is the Greatest
It's a Big Kid's Bedtime Story
Remember when you were little and someone read you a story at bedtime? How cool was that?! It was so soothing and relaxing. You might not have felt sleepy at the beginning, but by the end you would be all cozy in bed and ready to snooze. Then you grew up and bedtime stories stopped. Well, here’s what I think: Masturbation is like bedtime stories for grown ups. It's a fabulous way to give yourself some comfort and ease yourself into sleepy time. Plus, research shows that an orgasm can actually set you up for better sleep. Sweet dreams!
It's Self-Taught Sex Ed
There’s no a better way to learn about your sexual self than to discover your own body through masturbation. What feels good for you? What brings you to orgasm? What doesn’t work at all? This is useful information to have for your own pleasure and for approaching sex with anyone else. If might feel like fun, but it's serious business: You’re laying the groundwork for a more satisfying sex life. Um, best homework ev-er!
It Sure Beats a Stress Ball
Sometimes life is stressful, and that stress can result in tension. And that tension can turn totally normal people into unbalanced, hateful creatures. There are a lot of ways to deal with this, from massage, to punching bags to those squeeze-y ball things. But what about taking some time to make yourself feel good, to focus solely on your pleasure and possibly trigger a huge physical/emotional release? Sounds awesome, right? Once again, masturbation to the rescue!
We’re not just talking run-of-the-mill tension either, folks. Orgasms can even relieve some forms of migraine headaches. They’re like superheroes! (Check out some other sexy benefits in Skip the Gym, Get In Bed: 7 Health Benefits of Sex.)
You Get to Be an Explorer
Are there things you want to try but maybe want some practice before you bring in a partner? Great! Masturbation time! If you’re curious about anal play, use your own fingers or a butt plug (with lube please!) and try it out on your own. Wondering about dual penetration? Different angles? Something you read about but aren’t sure if it will feel good enough to warrant how silly it looks? These are all thinks you can try before you bust them out with a partner!
Seriously, it just is. It’s 100 percent for you without expectation or judgment. Sex is play time for grownups. Life is serious enough, so just have some fun. There’s no wrong way to do it; the only rule is to just enjoy yourself!
Happy Masturbation May everyone!
JoEllen is a writer, speaker, researcher and mental health advocate whose work explores the impact of depression on sex and relationships. Since 2012 she has written about sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken on her award-winning site The Redhead Bedhead.
JoEllen's book The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression & The Conversation We Aren’t Having is now available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.